ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Teen arrested over bomb threat in France

A protester gestures as protesters face French Republican Security Corps (CRS - Compagnies Republicaines de Securite) police officers during a demonstration in support of Palestinians at Place de la Republique during in Paris, on October 19, 2023. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)
A protester gestures as protesters face French Republican Security Corps (CRS - Compagnies Republicaines de Securite) police officers during a demonstration in support of Palestinians at Place de la Republique during in Paris, on October 19, 2023. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)

A 16-year-old has been arrested over a bomb hoax near Paris, police sources say, as authorities scramble to halt a week of bomb scares at airports, schools and landmarks.

The spate of fake threats has hit a country on high alert since the Hamas onslaught on Israel and the fatal stabbing of a teacher in the northern French city of Arras last week.

The teenager was arrested yesterday in Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône, a town northwest of Paris, over a bomb threat emailed to his school that caused the evacuation of around a thousand pupils.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin says French authorities have made 18 arrests over false bomb threats on Wednesday and Thursday.

Most of France’s major airports outside Paris were targeted, leading to evacuations, hours-long delays and dozens of cancelled flights.

Today, a new slew of threats affected 18 regional airports, 10 of which were evacuated, says Transport Minister Clement Beaune.

“Since Wednesday, we have seen an increase in alerts, false bomb threats in our airports,” Beaune tells reporters.

“And I want to say it very clearly, the smart guys or the little jokers who play these games are in fact big fools, even serious offenders,” he says.

Officials say Bordeaux and Beziers in the south were evacuated while others, including Lille in the northeast and Nantes in the west, were able to rule out danger without removing passengers.

Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti says 22 probes had been launched into false alarms.

“There will obviously be convictions. We cannot let this happen,” he tells broadcaster RTL. “I remind you that it is the parents who will pay the financial consequences.”

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